Dignity in Dying "Please Help Me Die" Dianne Pretty 2002 Your life, Your Choice Dignity in Dying There vision is ‘Dignity in to secure the Dying’ is a right for CAUSE group. everyone to be What able to die with type of dignity at the end of their group is life. this? A cause group is Gives people a where people from choice to put any backgrounds an end to their join together to support a cause pain and which results in suffering helping others. Dignity in Dying UK Membership of Dignity in Dying is £20.00 for an individual, or £30.00 for two people at the same address. • By joining Dignity in Dying and supporting our campaign you are helping to change the law. When you join you get a free Living Will and you'll be kept up-to-date with our members' magazine. • Dignity in Dying members are entitled to £10 discount on the initial joining price of Medic Alert, a medical identification charity which communicates your Living Will directly to doctors in an emergency. • Dignity in Dying is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Only with your support and the support of our other members will we be able to campaign to change the law. We are the only organisation working to ensure that people like Diane Pretty have the legal right to choose medical help to die and avoid suffering and indignity at the end of their lives. Dignity in Dying • Dignity in Dying With your help is dedicated to we can continue to work along changing the law side terminally ill and putting the people and help get their voices wishes of the heard by patient first. Government. • Dignity in Dying "I want to know that if things get campaigns so hard to too bad, on a consistent and lasting basis, I could receive help change the law. to end my suffering. I do not want Wanting terminally ill to have to commit suicide before I become physically unable to end people to be able to my life – and before I am ready to die. The law is forcing me to choose how and when contemplate a terrifying prospect, they die, and doctors and I will do everything I can to change it.” to be free to listen to Debbie Purdy Dignity in Dying Campaigner their patients' wishes without the fear of prosecution. Dignity in Dying • Dignity in Dying vision is for everyone to be guaranteed choice and dignity at the end of their life. • Palliative care and medical treatment should be patient- led and include a legal right to effective pain relief to help ease suffering. • Dignity in Dying want end-of-life decision making to be open and honest, and firmly under the control of the patient. • Dignity in Dying want a full range of choices to be available to terminally ill people including medically assisted dying within strict legal safeguards. Such legal safeguards would also protect the vulnerable and remove the conditions that give rise to unchecked euthanasia and "mercy killings". Dignity in Dying Dignity in dying most recent campaign is the Turner Family. All they ask is for you to ask your MP to support the family and by signing the petition. You can also write to the select committees dealing with the Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill The Letter to the MP in order to help As you may have seen in the news terminally ill, mentally competent, Dr Anne Turner became the forty second British citizen to travel to Switzerland in the past three years to receive assistance to die. This sad case closely followed ground breaking research conducted by Professor Clive Seale, from Brunel University, who found that doctors in the UK illegally assist, on average, eight patients a day to die (3,000 cases per annum). This situation would be resolved by the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill (ADTI) Bill 2005, which is being considered in the Lords. Dignity in Dying campaign The Bill would allow competent, terminally ill adults, who are suffering unbearably, to ask their doctors for a prescription which they can self-administer with the purpose of ending their unbearable suffering. It would not change the law of murder and would not allow voluntary euthanasia or mercy killings. It contains over twenty safeguards and is the safest Bill of its type ever introduced in the world. The Joint Committee on Human Rights twice passed the Bill as safe. The House of Lords Select Committee, which recently considered the issue, visited Oregon (USA) to study the workings of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act 1997. This Act is very similar to the Bill. In nine out of ten oral evidence sessions held in Oregon, the Committee heard that the law is working safely and effectively without abuse. After considering all the evidence, the majority of Select Committee members have confirmed they support the ADTI Bill. Please make a start at addressing this problem by signing Early Day Motion 1494. I look forward to receiving your reply. Dignity in Dying The campaign to change the law on assisted dying has made tremendous progress over the past four years. Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill was temporarily blocked in the House of Lords in May, but Dignity in Dying are working to bring a new Bill to Parliament in the near future. As you can imagine, when you are terminally ill and are suffering unbearably you are often too unwell to leave your home or even your bed. This makes it hard to get your voice heard in Parliament. Please don't leave these patients without a voice. Take Action! today. Dignity in Dying lobbies Government and Parliament to change the law to improve patient choice. We also defend patients legal rights over refusing life-prolonging medical treatment. We also support patients being able to ask for life-prolonging treatment. They have worked closely with Lord Joffe on drafting the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill which is currently in Parliament. Dignity in Dying Many Pressure groups use celebrities to promote and try gain more publicity for their group. Zoë Wanamaker joined as a patron as well as Brain Pretty who is well known for his wife, Diane Pretty, who fought for voluntary euthanasia. Sir Jonathan Miller CBE, and author Michael Holroyd CBE. Renowned scientist Baroness Susan Greenfield is also a patron. Our law forces people to make difficult and heart-wrenching decisions for themselves and about the people they love most. Only by showing and explaining how people are affected can we get through to those who can change our cruel law. Please tell us your experiences. It makes a world of difference. Thank you. Zoë Wanamaker Diane Pretty http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1955000/video/ _1957456_pretty_clip1_monaandjohn_vi.ram • Diane Pretty suffered from • Diane Pretty was facing a Motor Neurone Disease, this humiliating and degrading death disease became so advanced which would be "distressing and that she was unable to move undignified". It was said that she or communicate easily she wishes to avoid such a death. In wished to end her life. English law she would be free to do so if she were physically • This is illegal in Britain and capable of taking her own life, since Diane wanted to die at unassisted." home, Diane and her husband Pretty said she had no rights took her case to court using • In a statement issued on the Human Rights act. The Sunday by the Voluntary courts rejected Diane's Euthanasia Society (VES), now arguments The European called Dignity in Dying, Mr Pretty Court of Human Rights said "I was with Diane most of refused to acknowledge that the day and was about to come the European Convention on home when I was stopped and Human Rights provided a told it was time. right to die, and her appeal to "And then for Diane it was over, that court also failed. Diane free at last." died without assistance on 11th May 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1980000/audio/_1983694_death22_annetts.ram Terri Schiavo Theresa Marie "Terri" Schiavo (December 3, 1963 – March 31, 2005), from St. Petersburg, Florida was a brain damaged patient with a feeding tube. She collapsed in her home on February 25, 1990 and experienced respiratory and cardiac arrest, leading to 15 years of institutionalization and a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state (PVS). In 1998, Michael Schiavo, her husband and guardian, petitioned the Pinellas County Circuit Court to remove her feeding tube; Robert and Mary Schindler, her parents, opposed this, arguing she was aware. Court battles stretched on for seven years and included involvement by politicians and advocacy groups. As her surrogate decision- maker, a trial court determined that Terri would not wish to continue life-prolonging measures. Before that court's decision was carried out, on March 18, 2005, the state and national legislatures had intervened against it with laws that were signed by the executive branch, but overturned by the courts. These events resulted in extensive national and international media coverage. By March 2005, the legal history around the Schiavo case included fourteen appeals and numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts; five suits in Federal District Court; Florida legislation struck down by the Supreme Court of Florida; a subpoena by a congressional committee to qualify Schiavo for witness protection; federal legislation (Palm Sunday Compromise); and four denials of certiorari from the Supreme Court of the United States. Her feeding tube was removed a third and final time on March 18, 2005. She died thirteen days later of dehydration at a Pinellas Park hospice on March 31, 2005, at the age of 41. Deborah Annetts continued. "Today, Mrs Taylor spoke to me and said that she wants her suffering to end. She told me: 'This is about the quality of my life. I sleep 18 hours a day and I have terrible nightmares as a result of my medication. I am in constant pain, suffer from breathlessness and have bed sores. I do not want to have to leave the UK in order to die'." Mrs Taylor is in an intolerable position. Her case highlights the impossible dilemma that the current law presents to patients with terminal illness where pain relief and palliative care do not work to relieve their condition. Mrs Taylor told me that she wants to be able to choose the place, manner and time of her sedation which she knows may lead to her death, and would certainly do so if her living will was allowed to come into effect," said Deborah Annetts. "We understand a Directions hearing is taking place in the High Court Family Division today (February 12th) where lawyers for Mrs Taylor will ask that she be allowed to receive at home, sufficient morphine pain relief that she no longer feels the pain of her symptoms. The effect of the morphine treatment if given in sufficient quantity may be that she will become unconscious. A second effect of the administration of morphine is that it will hasten her death within a week or so of the commencement.